Art in the North

After quite a few weeks and Thanksgiving in the Windsor/Amherstburg area, we traveled back to Northern Ontario.  Motorme stayed in Jellystone park and we took TJ Toad to give him a good run. The ride was a bit bumpy but not too uncomfortable. The Fall colours along the way were great to see.

Autumn sunset on Lake Lauzon

In Elliot Lake, we visited with family.

Cigar box guitar for Dan

I was really excited to get to Blind River because Nancy and had I signed up for an Art Workshop for the weekend.  Sheila Currie teaches the class. She is a local artist who does beautiful watercolours and multi-media art pieces.  This very interesting round barn was right beside the place we took the workshop. I had to take a picture of it as the sun was just breaking through the morning mist.

Round Barn in Sowerby

Sheila demonstrating the next technique

By the end of the first day we had produced three partially finished pieces of art using a multitude of materials.

End of day 1- Three partially finished multi-media projects

After class the first day we were invited to wine and cheese at Sheila’s on Big Basswood Lake. Her studio and gallery are inspirational – so many beautiful paintings! It makes a girl wish she had walls!

Randy was looking forward to the butter tarts! He and Mugger got some work done and went to town to get buttertarts, visit some friends and have a pint at The Riverside Tavern.

Oh the Butter tarts!

By the end of the second day we had three finished paintings and lots of new techniques and ideas!

Everybody’s finished paintings

Mine

An uneventful, but long ride brought us home to the campground in Amherstburg.

 

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Us; Safe in Canada – Moorahme; OK but Scary Weather

It has been a crazy year for weather.

Our hearts are breaking for the beautiful people in the Caribbean islands that we have come to love. They have suffered not one but two cat 5 hurricanes within weeks of each other. It sounds like our friends are safe and making the best of a bad situation. They say, the lessons they learned conserving water and energy on a boat has helped. But living without clean water and electricity is really tough.

We are relieved to report that Moorahme seems to have come through Irma and Maria OK. We haven’t seen her ourselves and will feel better when we do. But our friends in Antigua say she looks fine!

We were glued to the tv and computers as Irma came within 40 miles north of where Moorahme is up on dry land in English Harbour.  Then again two weeks later as Maria cut a swath of distraction 80 miles to the south. Randy did his homework and chose the place we felt would keep her safest. After all,  Admiral Nelson kept the British Fleet there for most of the 18th century.

Windsor had its share of bad weather too. Many areas were flooded, including Courtney’s street.

Flooding in Windsr

Off to the north east for our next trip.

Randy’s cousin Irene and her love Brian invited us to their wedding in Campbellford. There were a whole lot of Lawson’s in one place!

Randy & Cousin Irene at her wedding

With cousins Brenda & Al

& second cousin Ariel

My son lives in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. The area has tons of museums as well as green space with hiking and biking trails!

Westley Clover Park is a lovely campground just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa. It’s nicely treed and has great hiking trails nearby.

Maman- Ottawa Art

Passing by the parliament buildings

At Mckenzie Kings Estate in Gatineau

A walking stick bug

Pretty veggies at the Byward Market

The canal system also has a great walkway along its banks.

The Rideau Canal

On our way home from Ottawa, we stopped in Belleville at Birdy’s Restaurant. Our friend Tina owns and runs it. The menu had so many good things on it we both had trouble deciding. Tina sat to visit and had lunch with us. She made some recommendations that helped narrow it down but we definitely want to go back next year and try more. If you’re anywhere near Belleville Ontario, make it a destination. Belleville is very pretty and Birdy’s is delish!

Jig – some more

Crossing the Mackinaw Bridge in a car is a little scary (it was also freaky on the motorcycle) but crossing it in a 38 foot motor coach is an experience . Randy says his knuckles were white all the way across!

Catching up with Jim and Rhonda was great. They toured us around their section of Michigan. We ate fresh black cherries – spectacular! Had ice cream in Ludington – Mmmm!

Ice cream in Ludington

And generally had so much fun I forgot to take pictures!

Back to Ontario – yup, cross that big ol’  bridge again. We visited with friends from New Mexico  who have a beautiful island on Lake Lauzon. It was a bittersweet reunion as Army , the family patriarch and all round charming man, passed away this year. But we shared lots of good stories and great food.

Sunset on Lake Lauzon

 

Back in Windsor, we decided that not having a vehicle was inconvenient, so we bought an old Jeep TJ. She bounces like a rabbit on even the slightest bumps! she’s fun!

TJ Toad!

It has been a crazy year for weather. We spent a lot of time watching the weather and the hurricanes. Off to the north east for our next trip. Randy’s cousin Irene and her love Brian invited us to their wedding in Campbellford.  There were a whole lot of Lawson’s in one place! My son lives in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. The area has tons of museums and lots and lots of green space with hiking and biking trails! Westley Clover Park is a lovely campground just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa. It’s nicely treed and has great hiking trails nearby. The canal system also has a great walkway along its banks. On our way home from Ottawa, we stopped in Belleville at Birdy’s Restaurant. Our friend Tina owns and runs it. The menu had so many good things on it we both had trouble deciding. Tina sat to visit and had lunch with us. She made some recommendations that helped narrow it down but we definitely want to go back next year and try more. If you’re anywhere near Belleville Ontario, make it a destination. Belleville is very pretty and Birdy’s is delish!

Jiggity Jig – first verse

Home again home again!

We got Moorahme put away and hopped on an airplane back to Ontario.

South

After short visits to St Thomas and Windsor and much searching on the internet  for a Motor Coach, we drove to Kapuskasing to see one that looked good in pictures. It looked great in reality! We liked it and it passed safety checks etc. We stayed the weekend with Ron and Claire, the (former) owners, while we sorted out the paper work. Then drove her back to Southern Ontario. Or rather Randy drove the coach and I followed in the rental car.

Our Summer Home

One of our sailing friends called it Motorme-  we’re gonna go with that!

Camping for a few weeks at Willowwood Campground ( the old Jellystone Park) was fun. And we were able to visit with some friends and family.

North

Elliot Lake was having its 60th anniversary and the high school reunion. So we headed north. Our friends, Jeff and Shelly (or, as we like to call them,  Sheff and Jelly) organized campsites for us  at the municipal campground. The campground is close enough to town that lots of friends and family came to visit. A few of the people from Randy’s graduating class got together Friday evening. They are such a friendly group they made me feel so welcome!

Class of 75

Saturday there was a breakfast at the high school. Everyone who preregistered got a name tag with their grade ten picture on it. I wondered why everyone recognized Randy right away until I saw his photo.

Oh My God, It’s Randy Lawson!

 

In the afternoon noon ther was a parade, then music and dancing at Collins Hall. Lots of people that Randy worked with were here. They were not always so quick to recognize him. ( He must have cut his hair by then, hehe).

We also had a chance to visit with Randy’s sisters which is always nice.

Then it was on to Blind River. We spent the first night as invited guests parked in the parking lot of The Riverside Tavern. Tuesday night is always a get together of local musicians – so much fun! Then a few nights at Shae’s house parked in the driveway and getting in some good visiting.

Next, on to Robert and Nancy’s beautiful log home just outside Blind River.

Parked at our friends house.

The second weekend in July Blind River Community Days takes place. There’s a beer tent, rides, cotton candy (yay) and music.

This year as part of the Canada’s 150 th Birthday, Glass Tiger played in the park. Randy’s nephew Kris, his lovely wife Chantel and their adorable little boys joined us at the concert. It was a tad chilly but the boys kept us amused.

These cuties, our great nephews Kayden and Colten, at Glass Tiger concert.

Bill and Lynne live in Algoma Mills and invited us to camp by the lake at their house for a few days. They had another visitor just after dinner one evening. A male fox stops by on occasion for a hotdog or two.

Randy turned 61 while we were there. He doesn’t like a fuss about his birthday and he wanted to BBQ his amazing steaks for his b’day. So he cooked a delicious birthday dinner for all of us! Ya gotta love a man who loves to cooks!

 

And It’s a great place for visitors in February, March, April and May!

Its cold in Canada !

Flights to Antigua are easy!

We had been going to leave Antigua, but… liked it so much we had tons of friends and family come visit. I’ll hit the highlights that I have pictures of.

Sunset Jolly Beach

We saw Dave & Erin Townley as well as Linda Thompson  in February. Jennifer Whitfield and then Brian and Mary Pont back to back in March.  April brought friends from Northern Ontario, Robert and Nancy Menard and then my daughter Courtney. My big little brother, Bruce came in May just before we packed up!

They come for the sunsets

And stay for the food! Lobster Dinner

Mmm, crepes for breakfast

Classic Yacht Regatta. The oldest boat was from 1911!

Another antique- I mean classic! Bruce – suck it in!

In the midst of all this marvellous company we tore out the old seat cushions and had them recovered! We must be crazy! 😜

Salon Torn apart

Salon with new cushions

 

With my baby girl at Betty’s Hope

Dingy into shore

Moorahme out of the sea for the summer!

Great sunsets, lots of yummy food and the best visitors! Life is good on our boat!

Antigua Is A Great Place for Visitors in January!

Air Canada and WestJet both fly directly to Antigua from Toronto for fairly reasonable rates. Starting in January friends came to visit.

We had several projects to get done on Moorahme, so we stayed in Jolly Harbour Marina.

A hike up the hill side, gives you a great view of the anchorage at Jolly Harbour !

One of the first places we like to take visitors, is Jolly Beach. The sand and sun are gorgeous…

Jolly Beach

And of course, the sunsets are spectacular!

The surf and the sunset.

 

It was great to meet up with friends we’d met in Grenada –  The crew on MickBeth! (Santa knew Gwen & Robin needed mermaid’s tails)

We got to know the local mermaids !

Going in to St Johns is always fun but Saturday is market day. The sights and sounds are kicked up a notch or two!

Saturday market in St John

Our first visitors were Tim and Mary Brown. A day at the beach; another day to St Johns and the Market.

Our friend Mary wasn’t too sure about the fish with the head still on – It’s staring at you, Mary!

 

One of my favourite days was when we took a tour of the Island. Antigua is rich in history!

Island Tour -Partialy restored sugar plantation, Betty’s Hope.

Tim and Randy – checking out the machinary at the sugar mill.

Devils Bridge where dispondant slaves would through themselves into the sea.

The tour took us to Shirley Heights where you can get a stunning view of both Falmouth and English Harbour s.

English Harbour from Shirley Heights

 

 

Guadaloupe to Antigua and home for Christmas 🎄

We were so excited to be reunited with our first sailing buddy boat!! On our first day there we had a lovely snorkel at the park. There were lots of schools of tropical fish and beautiful coral

The sun setting on Pigeon Island Guadaloupe

Pigeon Bay had some decent shops for provisions and a pretty nice beach.

Sailing the coast of Guadaloupe with our friends on Remora

After a few days we sailed up the east coast to Deshaies (pronounced days ays). One of my favorite BBC shows, Death In Paradise,  is filmed in Deshaies and of course seeing some of the locations was fun.  After clearing out at customs, always a breeze in the French islands, we had an amazing sail to Antigua.

All the sails up – headed to Antigua

Full main and foresail up, the wind and waves were just right and at one point we saw the water spouts of three whales. Unfortunately we were not close enough to see the whales themselves but exciting none the less.

When we got close to Antigua with plenty of time to moor and clear customs and immigration, we turned into the wind to take down the mainsail.   It gave us a very hard time. Randy put it back up and then down again at least  three times and was very tired and frustrated before it finally went reluctantly into the in-boom furler.  That’s it! Time for newer lighter sails! Once we caught up to Remora it was too late to clear customs so we hoisted the yellow flag and anchored in Five Island Bay.

Five Island Bay Antigua

Five Island Bay is a beautiful bay with a nice upscale resort nearby (that means good wifi). The bay had lots of room for us and most of the boats were flying Canadian Flags! The next day the first mates got a dingy ride into the beach and hoofed it to the Customs and Immigration offices to get the officialdom over with. Then back to the boat to raise the Antigua and Barbuda flag, go for a refreshing swim and cocktails later in the day.  Yeah, life is good.

After a few days of relaxing in the anchorage it was time to move to the marina, get fuel and a slip to leave Moorahme while we travel home for Christmas. Fuel is expensive here!

The view of the abandoned casino at Jolly Harbour Marina

The slips are med mooring, which means tight and stern in. Were not great at backing up but Captain Randy  the marina staff made it look like child’s play. We are docked beside another Stevens 47!

Next up the challenge to pack to go home for Christmas. We wanted to have only carry-on luggage. Good Luck with that!

Trying to get it all in two carry-ones and two personal items

Nailed it!